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The Clue of the Twisted Candle

The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace
By: (1875-1932)

This story describes a house in Cadogan Square, London, in which extensive alterations have been done by the Greek owner. One of the rooms is built like a safe. The walls floor and roof are made of almost indestructible reinforced concrete. The only door to the room can only be opened or closed by the owner. The single window is unreachable and there is a steel safe built into the outer wall which is in plain sight of the local policeman who patrols the street every night. Yet it is in this barred and shuttered room that the Greek is found brutally murdered.

The Clue of the Twisted Candle is one of Edgar Wallace's most ingenious locked-room mysteries. Published in 1918, it is a classic mystery story. It takes place over a length of time and flows back and forth between different periods. The hero John Lexman, is a mystery writer, like the author himself, and is married to a lovely woman who hides a secret. The Greek aristocrat, Remington Kara is stunningly handsome and immensely rich and he nurses an unrequited passion for Lexman's wife. When Lexman gets himself into financial problems with an Albanian moneylender, the plot begins to thicken. Kara, who is terrified of candles due to events in his shady past, is found dead and Lexman is framed for the murder. A cop who is called in to investigate is Lexman's best friend, T. X. Meredith.

Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace's own life was worthy of several books. Born into grinding poverty and deprivation, he began life in the slums of pre-War London. He joined the army and became a war correspondent during the Boer War. In 1905, in a desperate attempt to come out of financial difficulties, he published his first crime novel The Four Just Men. The rest as they say, is history. He went on to become one of the most prolific writers in English, having written nearly a thousand short stories, 170 novels, 18 stage plays, innumerable essays and articles, screenplays, poems and historical fiction and non-fiction books. He is also credited with the creation of characters like JG Reeder, Sanders of the River and Smithy, not to forget King Kong.

The Clue of the Twisted Candle was his second book and written in what is now referred to as the Golden Age of detective fiction. It enjoyed immense popularity when it was first published and retains its sense of excitement, intrigue and mystery even today.

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Reviews (Rated: 3 Stars - 3 reviews)

Reviewer: - May 10, 2014
Subject: The Clue of the Twisted Candle
Chapter two is terrible and some of the other readers aren't the best. On the whole, however, a story worth listening to so do persevere with it.
Reviewer: - April 30, 2013
I absolutely agree that chapter 2 was really very strange and disconcerting but it eventually got to be more bearable.
Reviewer: - April 4, 2013
I stopped with the book at chapter 2. This chapter's reading was very strange (intonation and melody).

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